- Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants to Help Farms Improve Agricultural Composting Operations
Craig Gilvarg, Press Secretary
Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $185,000 in grants to six Massachusetts farms to support improvements in agricultural composting practices and facilitate on-farm compost use. Awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), the grants will help farms fund equipment or projects to produce compost more quickly and efficiently while helping to protect the environment by recycling nutrients, improving soil health and keeping organic material out of landfills
“As healthy soils are fundamental to the success of agriculture in Massachusetts, this funding will improve the viability and sustainability of Commonwealth farms,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to support these local farms and promote the growth of agricultural composting.”
The Agricultural Composting Improvement Program (ACIP) is a competitive grant program that assists agricultural operations in funding equipment and projects to improve agricultural composting practices and facilitate the usage of compost as a valuable soil amendment on their farms. MDAR provides technical assistance to farms conducting agricultural composting and encourages farms to utilize compost as a soil amendment or manure management tool.
“Agriculture and composting go hand-in-hand,” said Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. “The ability of a farm to make and utilize compost on their farm is an important component of agriculture in Massachusetts, and we commend these farmers for their efforts to improve their composting operations.”
Agricultural use of compost has been shown to increase water holding capacity of soil, improve soil tilth, add beneficial microorganisms and organic matter to soil, and assist in carbon sequestration. For livestock farmers, utilizing compost as a tool for manure management creates a more stable form of nutrients that can be transported and spread more easily than raw manure.
The following local agricultural operations are receiving grants through the ACIP program:
· Edgartown – Morning Glory Farm has been awarded $41,250 to construct a compost pad.
· Leicester – Little Bit Farm has been awarded $5,039 to construct a compost pad.
· Tewksbury – Krochmal Farm has been awarded $57,660 for the purchase of compost screening equipment.
· Sunderland – Mt. Toby Farm has been awarded $13,006 for the purchase of compost screening equipment.
· Brewster – Eldredge Farm has been awarded $57,660 for the purchase of compost screening equipment.
· Concord – New England Nurseries has been awarded $10,384 for the purchase of compost screening equipment.
The MDAR Agricultural Composting Improvement Program is funded under the 2018 Environmental Bond Bill.
"Farms on Cape Cod and the Islands are applying innovative composting practices that make them even more essential to our local, sustainable food system," said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). "I am grateful that their efforts are recognized accordingly and that their work is receiving the support it needs to thrive for many seasons to come."
"I want to thank the Baker-Polito administration, Secretary Theoharides, and Commissioner Lebeaux for their continued commitment to our fragile environment here on Cape Cod,” said State Representative Timothy Whelan (R-Brewster). “These much needed funds toward the purchase of compost screening equipment at Eldredge Farm is a further sign of that commitment and is sincerely appreciated.”
"The Williams family and Mt. Toby Farm have always been leaders when it comes to best practices in agriculture,” said State Representative Natalie Blais (D-Sunderland). “Increasing agricultural composting is an excellent way to keep our prime farmland healthy and viable. Healthy soils are key for our farmers in the 1st Franklin and the overall health of our food system in Massachusetts."